Chicago To Sue DOJ Over Sanctuary City Funding Threat

Emanuel's office said in a statement over the weekend that the Trump administration's "latest unlawful misguided action undermines public safety and violates" the Constitution.

One 2015 study from the American Immigration Council found that while the foreign-born population of the U.S. grew from 7.9% to 13.1% between 1990 and 2013, the violent crime rate declined 48%. Chicago becomes the first city to sue the Justice Department over this issue. But officials declined to release the lawsuit wording Sunday despite holding a news conference, leaving some details of the filing still unknown. "I expect other cities to follow suit".

The mayor said the city won't be "blackmailed" into changing its values as a welcoming city. "We will assess our own legal options going forward", she said.

However, Emanuel said the conditions placed on applications for the Byrne Grant - due September 5 - amount to a "camel's nose under the tent", and if successful would certainly lead to additional punitive actions against sanctuary cities like Chicago.

City officials said complying with the new requirements, to get federal money, would violate Chicago's "Welcoming City" ordinance - a law which prohibits the CPD from giving federal officials access to people in custody, bans ICE agents from police facilities for interrogations and bars cops from sharing immigration status information.

Despite many complaints from the administration that sanctuary cities are not honoring detainer requests by ICE, its own report has conceded that such cooperation is not required, and that failure to honor detainer requests can not provide grounds for withholding federal funds. Department officials on Friday declined to comment on the mayor's pledge to sue. The government can't "unilaterally concoct and import into" the grant program "sweeping new policy conditions that were never approved (and indeed were considered and rejected) by Congress and that would federalize local jails and police stations, mandate warrantless detentions in order to investigate for federal civil infractions, sow fear in local immigrant communities, and ultimately make the people of Chicago less safe".

The policies also include a requirement that local law enforcement agencies give federal authorities 48 hours notice before releasing anyone wanted for immigration violations.

In that case, even the Justice Department's lawyers acknowledged in court that the department's ability to withhold federal funding from states and local governments is limited to a small number of grants.

In general، "sanctuary cities" offer safe harbor to undocumented immigrants and often advance the enforcement of federal immigration laws without municipal funds or resources.

The city is planning on receiving $3.2 million this year in Byrne grants - primarily used to buy police vehicles, radios, SWAT equipment and Tasers - an amount equal to three-hundredths of 1 percent of the entire $9.8 billion city budget.


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